Iron Man, who else was competing as Tom Cruise instead of Robert Downey Jr?
It’s no secret, and it was Feige himself who revealed it: taking Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man was a risk for the MCU. A risk that paid off as it launched the Universe we know today in its best light and led everyone to become attached to the character of Tony Stark. But who was vying with Downey Jr. for the role? Let’s find out all the names!
Several actors were first considered Downey Jr. which, it should be remembered, has a rather turbulent past. In fact, by the time he was cast in the role, the actor had overcome his well-known 5-year drug issues and was beginning to find stability. Plus, he was definitely an actor who had never starred in an action movie. However Favreau had decided: he really wanted it. Not that the options were lacking.
In fact, there was a big name in the running at the time: Tom Cruise. The actor actually admitted that he wasn’t as close as many think. However, he would undoubtedly have been perfect as a wealthy philanthropist, both for his verve and for his skill in the action scenes. Physical qualities that he would certainly also have Hugh Jackmanalso approached the role, which is not new in films of this genre: indeed, he later became Wolverine in the 2013 film version.
However, one of the first contacted by Favreau was Sam Rockwell. The chameleon actor actually has the perfect face for Tony Stark and is able to bring a wide range of emotions to the screen, which isn’t for everyone. Too bad a certain Robert Downey Jr. then entered the games. But too bad, because Rockwell participated in the franchise but in another role in Iron Man 2!
Surprisingly, among the names considered for the 2008 film is also that of Di Caprio. Although the director doesn’t want too well-known names, in fact, the famous actor was certainly in his heyday, and even thinking about the possibility of having him for the character was a must. However, he was never officially offered the role as far as we know.
Finally there is Clive Owen, who was certainly in contention. The British actor would certainly have given different shades to the character, but by the end of the games he wasn’t considered a perfect fit for the role.
Regarding projects before the 2008 film, it seems that several actors almost ended up embodying Iron Man in the various products of the early 2000s: among them Nicolas Cage stands out, followed by Rob Lowe and Timothy Olyphant. None of them, however, ever managed to bring their Tony Stark to the screen.
Downey Jr. played Tony Stark for many years and eventually left the role with his character’s death. A farewell, that of Iron Man, which aroused a very strong reaction in the public, leading many to ask for his return. Will this happen in the future? For now, it seems not, but never say never.